Dallas: Jeg Coughlin Jr Saturday notes

'What me, worry?' Coughlin pulls off huge run to make Dallas field DALLAS (Sept. 22) -- Needing a big day at the racetrack Saturday, Pro Stock driver and three-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. responded with the biggest move of the final two...

'What me, worry?' Coughlin pulls off huge run to make Dallas field

DALLAS (Sept. 22) -- Needing a big day at the racetrack Saturday, Pro Stock driver and three-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. responded with the biggest move of the final two rounds of qualifying, driving his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt from out of the field to a solid mid-pack ranking that keeps his championship hopes alive and well.

"I can breathe," team owner Victor Cagnazzi said after Coughlin's impressive 6.699 at 206.13 mph placed his yellow and black car ninth in the 16-car field. "What a relief."

Coughlin was out of contention in the 18th spot and in serious jeopardy of losing his top-three position in the POWERade points after Friday's two hot sessions. With this weekend's event and one more race in Richmond, Va., left in the Countdown to Four, Coughlin and team knew they needed to stay in the top four to advance to the final round of the 2007 playoffs. A slip-up like failing to qualify for a race would have been catastrophic.

"The pressure was on but that's when this JEGS.com team always seems to shine," Coughlin said. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sweating it out a little before we made that pass but I can also tell you that I have supreme confidence in my team."

For Coughlin and others, "sweating it out" this weekend is par for the course as racers are encountering the hottest temperatures of the season. It's been in the mid-90s all weekend with on-track temperatures reaching as high as 138 degrees.

"The conditions are pretty brutal but we all have the same things to deal with," Coughlin said. "If we had made our Q3 run in Q2, we would have been fifth or better on the sheets but we'll take what we have and move forward. We're happy to be in the show and now we need to go to work and get some more round wins under our belts. I've won here before (2002) so maybe we can have another big day."

Coughlin will open sudden-death eliminations against veteran racer Larry Morgan. The two have raced each other twice this year with Coughlin taking both win lights.

"Larry's fighting for his playoff life so he'll bring the house I'm sure," Coughlin said. "We're all feeling the pressure of the Countdown and it sure has made things exciting for all of us. I bet the fans love it. We'll do our best to give them a good show."

Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday with Pro Stock estimated to begin at noon.

-credit: team jegs

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin